Niner Noise checks all the mock NFL Draft suggestions out there for whom the 49ers wind up selecting with their three picks in Round 3.
Currently, general manager John Lynch lacks picks in those two opening rounds, and the Niners won’t be on the clock until No. 99 overall in the compensatory selection of Round 3.
That said, kicking off with that number, San Francisco will have three picks out of for to start off its 2023 draft class.
The 49ers don’t have too many holes to fill on an otherwise stacked roster, but there are some pressing needs. Finding a starting-caliber lineman to replace now-Denver Broncos right tackle Mike McGlinchey would be smart, while an additional pass-rusher and cornerback would be wise, too.
Plus, given the Niners’ unfortunate track record with injuries, grabbing some much-needed depth has to be atop Lynch’s priority list.
There are a few routes San Francisco can take, but let’s go through the three-round mock drafts out there to see if there are any new prospect trends for the 49ers as we get closer and closer to Round 1 officially kicking off.
2023 mock NFL Draft roundup: Who are the 49ers predicted to select?
The Niners probably aren’t going to use any of their three third-round picks on skill players, especially at running back after doing so twice in back-to-back years.
However, upgrading and reinforcing some of the aforementioned positions seems to be the current trend.
Let’s take a look at whom the experts are mocking to San Francisco in Round 3.
- No. 99 overall: OT Blake Freeland, BYU
- No. 101 overall: S Daniel Scott, Cal
- No. 102 overall: EDGE Zach Harrison, Ohio State
These three moves make perfect sense: replacing McGlinchey, finding a long-term answer to replace Jimmie Ward and then complementing EDGE Nick Bosa in the pass rush.
- No. 99 overall: OT Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
- No. 101 overall: CB Cameron Mitchell, Northwestern
- No. 102 overall: OG Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama
Replacing McGlinchey is a trend, and grabbing a No. 2 cornerback to pair with Charvarius Ward is also something that’s popped up in previous mock drafts.
Ekiyor is another player who isn’t new to 49ers mocks either.
- No. 99 overall: CB Darius Rush, South Carolina
- No. 101 overall: EDGE Zach Harrison, Ohio State
- No. 102 overall: WR Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
Harrison makes a second appearance on the list of Niners mocks.
Meanwhile, Hutchinson winds up being a rare skill player mocked to San Francisco on day two. While the 6-foot-2 wide receiver is enticing, it’s hard to see Lynch targeting a player like this with a win-now roster and Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk already under contract.
- No. 99 overall: OT Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
- No. 101 overall: LB Ivan Pace Jr., Cincinnati
- No. 102 overall: WR Kayshon Boutte, LSU
Another wide receiver? Perhaps head coach Kyle Shanahan is getting his offensive weapons again.
Here’s what Valentino had to say about the selection:
"Taking a gamble on a player once mocked in the first round one year ago could go worse for the 49ers. With both Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings heading toward the end of their rookie deals, Kayshon Boutte is a low-risk gamble for a team with a few extra compensatory picks."
The argument has some merit, but it doesn’t seem like a win-now kind of move.
The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 27.